The Caribbean Fertility Studies
Over the past decade two major investigations concerning fertility control among lower-income classes have been completed in the Caribbean area -- one in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the other in Jamaica. Both are small islands of roughly similar topography, climate and population size; both historically have been colonial-agricultural areas with heavy reliance on African slave labor, and both are currently exhibiting high birth rates and low death rates. Their small size, internal cultural homogeneity, and demographic position made them ideal as laboratories for investigation. Moreover, while the islands are sufficiently similar to make comparison meaningful, they are sufficiently distinct culturally (Spanish vs. British) to make comparisons fruitful. Each investigation involved a three-stage design moving from relatively broad and unstructured techniques and concepts to highly refined experimental approaches, and from more theoretical to more applied concerns.
Exploratory or pilot stage . In Puerto Rico 72 rural and urban couples, and in Jamaica 99 rural and urban wives and a subsample of 53 husbands, were given unstructured interviews ranging in length from two to six hours.
Verification stage . Based on results from the pilot investigations, larger-scale sample surveys were carried out, using shorter interviews with questions more amenable to statistical analysis. In Jamaica an area probability sample of 1,400 currently mated